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Matt Hectorne

Work – 2018 (Hem & Haw)

Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

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CDs by Matt Hectorne

Matt Hectorne's new album - his third solo effort - offers another example of the rewards that can come through the joy of discovery. While Hectorne makes no attempt to bend the boundaries as far as a patented Americana sound is concerned, the success he achieves here is the result of him doing quite the opposite, that is, sounding like a revered veteran who mastered the form quite quickly in his career. Indeed, Hectorne has a vintage approach that suggests his talent emerged fully formed.

To be sure, "Work" is more than an exercise in the tried and true. There's a vibrancy and excitement that springs from each of these melodies, from the sweeping sentiments of "It Don't Matter at All" to the final riveting refrain of the concluding "How Can I Be Wrong?" Every track in between is filled with a combination of affirmation and inspiration, and each of them makes an emphatic impression even on the initial encounter. Again, no rules are broken, but Hectorne's inherent ability to make music that's both classic and compelling testifies to the fact that he quickly mastered all the skills necessary when it comes to finding both the elocution and execution needed to immediately seize command.

With that in mind, a title like "Work" seems oddly out of sync. Granted, given the craft that's done into these songs and set-ups, there's no way to deny the fact that the man's done the preparation needed to deliver results this well. On the other hand, Hectorne appears to accomplish it all so effortlessly, it almost appears that he's nothing more than simply sing. An impressive album from beginning to end, this "Work" is so good it ought to reap him due rewards.